Stocks rallied Friday on bargain hunting to end a three-day slump, and on easing quarantine measures that are expected to limit the damage to the Philippine economy.
The Philippine Stock Exchange Index surged 74.61 points, or 1.2 percent, to 6,324.00 on a value turnover of P7.3 billion. Gainers beat losers, 135 to 81, with 37 issues unchanged.
Conglomerate JG Summit Holdings Inc. of the Gokongwei Group advanced 3.7 percent to P64.25, while SM Prime Holdings Inc. of the Sy Group rose 2.7 percent to P33.70.
Speculative issue PXP Energy Corp. jumped 8.4 percent to P12.10, while major property developer Ayala Land Inc. added 2.5 percent to P33.
The rest of Asian markets tumbled Friday with investors spooked by soaring virus cases in Europe and the United States that have forced fresh lockdowns, while uncertainty ahead of next week’s US election was also dampening sentiment.
Regional traders brushed off a healthy rebound on Wall Street and forecast-beating economic growth data out of Washington with analysts warning that a new infection surge and failure to pass a new stimulus would likely knock the recovery off track.
Asian markets extended the week’s losses, with tech firms weighed by warnings from US giants including Apple, Amazon and Facebook that the outlook was murky owing to the impact of the coronavirus.
Hong Kong shed two percent and Seoul dived 2.6 percent, while Tokyo and Shanghai were more than one percent down. There were also big losses in Sydney, Mumbai, Taipei, Singapore, Bangkok and Wellington.
Equities have had a torrid week as governments are forced to act to contain a second wave of disease in the northern hemisphere, with France essentially shutting down for November, Germany putting tough measures in place and several other countries in danger of having to follow suit.
European Central Bank boss Christine Lagarde noted the eurozone was facing a tough few months, saying Thursday that the economy was “losing momentum more rapidly than expected” after a partial rebound in the summer, adding that risks were “clearly tilted to the downside.”
However, on a positive note she hinted that the bank could unveil fresh measures to keep credit flowing.
Eyes are now on Tuesday’s presidential election, with expectations Joe Biden will win the White House, while Democrats could sweep both houses of Congress, which observers say could see the passage of a huge new stimulus.
However, despite Biden being well ahead of Donald Trump in national and battleground polls, traders remain nervous that the president could contest any tight result, having spent much of the campaign warning of mail-in voter fraud.
“There is going to be more volatility ahead of the election,” Quincy Krosby, of Prudential Financial, told Bloomberg TV.
“Over the weekend folks are going to be focused on (key battleground state) Pennsylvania to see whether or not Biden is gaining there. The concern is if he gains a little bit, that may be one where you could actually look to a contested election,” she added. With AFP